PMP Exam Resources: Measurement Glossary

Free PMP Terms and Definitions

Understanding common project management terms can be a challenge for all project managers. To help you understand those terms and definitions Crosswind Project Management has created a free to use glossary to help in your pmp training. In this page you will find the terms and definitions associated within the component areas of framework to get a better understanding of how this process works and relates to project management.

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80/20 RuleA rule of thumb that has many applications, but generally implies that 80% of problems or defects come from a small number (20%) of causes.
A/B TestingA marketing tool where users are given two different options with one independent variable, to see which they prefer.
Acceptance CriteriaCustomer identified functionality written in enough detail to validate product performance; objective criteria that determines if the story achieves the value it represents
Acceptance TestActivities that validate that the features perform in accordance with customer defined functionality
AccuracyThe degree of correctness within a quality system
Administrative ClosureTask associated with the verification and documentation of project results, to formally close the project or phase.
Attribute Sampling DataData that is counted to analyze, create charts/graphs, and support decision making.
AuditingA formal review of the project's characteristics including purpose, results, metrics, and documentation, among other parameters.
BenchmarkingTechnique of measuring performance against the best-in-class; often involves determining the processes used by best-in-class to achieve that status and applying those processes to effect improvement
Cause and Effect DiagramA decomposition approach used to identify the root cause of a problem; also known as a fishbone or Ishakawa diagram
ChecksheetsA sheet that can be used as a checklist when gathering data
Close Project or PhaseThe process of completing each activity across all process groups in order to finalize a project or phase
Close-Out MeetingsMeetings held at the end of the project to review project work, and to capture lessons learned. (Sometimes called lessonsn learned or retrospectives.)
ConformanceWithin the quality management system, the delivery of a product or result that falls within the acceptable tolerance levels of quality requirements
Continuous Improvement (CI)Daily inspection and adaption performed to bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to the workplace
ControlThe process of contrasting actual performance to planned performance, assessing the resulting variances, and determining the actions that will improve performance levels
Control ChartA graphic representation of process data over time that is set against documented control limits and has a center line (mean) to assist in identifying trends
Cost of ConformanceA proactive approach, spending money on quality with a project to attempt to design out defects before they arise. Any type of proactive spending can be included to eliminate potential defects and maximize the customer experience with the product.
Cost of NonconformanceCost associated with not meeting quality expectations of the project or product
Cost of QualityThe total cost of achieving or failing to achieve desired quality: specifically the costs of achievement are those associated with planning, controlling, and assuring quality and the costs of failure are those associated with reworking, warranty, waste, and negative reputation
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Cost Performance Index (CPI)The ratio indicating the cost efficiency of resources, calculated by dividing earned value (EV) by actual cost (AC): a CPI of 1.0 indicates the project is proceeding as planned; a CPI greater than 1.0 more indicates the project is proceeding better than planned; and a CPI less than 1.0 indicates the project is not proceeding as well as planned
Cost Variance (CV)The difference between the value of what was built (earned value) and the cost of what was built (actual cost)
CriteriaStandards applied to a product, service, result, or process in order to make a decision or render a judgment about that product, service, result or process
DebriefingA more casual approach to lessons learned on a project to help the organization evolve and improve future projects.
End-to-End TestInvestigation of the entire software environment under conditions that replicate actual usage, such as any interactions with databases, other applications, and/or other systems
Estimate at Completion (EAC)The estimated cost of all the project work based on the actual cost of work done plus the estimated costs of work remaining
Estimate at Completion (EAC)The estimated cost of all the project work based on the actual cost of work done plus the estimated costs of work remaining
Estimate to Complete (ETC)The expected monetary resources required to complete the remaining work of the project; calculated by subtracting actual cost (AC) from the estimate at completion (EAC)
Estimate to Complete (ETC)The expected monetary resources required to complete the remaining work of the project; calculated by subtracting actual cost (AC) from the estimate at completion (EAC)
Five Whys ActivityThe practice of asking a series of questions as a method of uncovering the source of an issue
Formal AcceptanceAttaining signature for a piece of the project or the complete project, where the signature represents completion or closure of the project or that piece of the project
GradeA ranking to classify products that have different functions or features
HistogramA graphical representation, in the format of bar chart, that depicts the central tendency, dispersal, and shape of a statistical distribution
Influence DiagramA graphical representation of relationship between variables and outcomes including situations with causal influence and event time sequences
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)A metric or measurement used to compare a team's performance to the project's vision and goals.
Lessons LearnedThe knowledge of what worked and what didn't work during a project
Lessons Learned RegisterA project document utilized to record knowledge gained, both positive and negative, during the project; the information contained in register can be used in the current project and entered into the lessons learned repository for use with future projects.
Matrix DiagramsA quality management tool that analyzes data by showing relationships between the data
Measurement Performance Domain The performance domain associated with project performance including assessing performance and maintaining acceptable performance levels.
Measures of PerformanceMeasures that show physical or functional attributes related to system or application operation.
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S-curveGraphic representation of costs, work, and other quantities over time so that the planned value, earned value, and actual cost of the work can be seen
Scatter DiagramA graphical representation that shows the relationship between two variables by putting one on an x axis, the other on a y axis, and analyzing the intersecting points; typically used to determine root causes or the presence of a cause and effect relationship
Schedule Performance Index (SPI)A measure of project schedule efficiency calculated by dividing the earned value (EV) by the planned value (PV): a value of 1.0 indicates the work is being performed as expected, a value greater than 1.0 means the work is being performed ahead of schedule, and a value of less than 1.0 means the work is being performed behind schedule
Schedule Variance (SV)A determination of schedule performance calculated by subtracting the planned value (PV) from the earned value (EV): if the result is zero, the project is performing as expected; if the result is positive, the project is ahead of schedule; if the result is negative, the project is behind schedule
Seven Basic Quality ToolsA group of devises used by quality management for quality planning and for monitoring and controlling
SigmaA measurement of acceptability of a product or process
Six SigmaA highly structured methodology focused on accelerating process performance and diminishing process variations in order to improve quality and profits, while reducing defects
SMART Goals ActivityObjectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely
SpecificationAn instrument that effectively defines the requirements, design, characteristics, and other attributes of a system, component, product, result or service and typically provides for procedures to determine that the provisions of the instrument have been met
Statistical SamplingThe selection of a part of a population for examination rather than using the entire population
Status MeetingA regularly scheduled meeting that facilitates updating the team and relevant stakeholders on the current state of progress on the project.
Status ReportA report that states the current shape or state of the project to date
Technical Performance MeasuresMeasurable performance criteria established to ensure system components fulfill the technical requirements.
Test Plan A document that describes what deliverables will be tested, what tests will be performed, and any related processes associated with testing.
ThresholdAny value (typically applied to cost, time, quality, technical, or resource) that is used as a parameter; typically crossing the threshold results in a triggered action
To Complete Performance Index (TCPI)The ratio that represents the cost performance required to complete the work of the project given the remaining resources; calculated by dividing the remaining project work by the remaining budget (BAC - EV/BAC - AC)
ToleranceThe measure of acceptable variation
Total Quality Management (TQM)A quality management philosophy that approaches quality management proactively and applies statistical sampling to help document improvements.
Trend AnalysisAn analytical technique that uses mathematical paradigms to predict future outcomes based on historical data
Unique Identification CodeA subset of the code of accounts that allows assignment of a unique number to pieces of the WBS or other work decomposition.
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Phase GateA review which is conducted at the end of a phase to decide if the project should continue to the next phase, if the project should continue to the next phase with modification, or if the project or program should be terminated.
Planning Process GroupThe processes required to create the management and other planning documents that comprise the project management plan
Predictive Life CycleA life cycle type that determines project scope, time, and cost during the early phases of the life cycle.
Product Life CycleThe phases of product development, typically defined as conception through delivery, expansion, maturity, and disengagement
Product RoadmapThe description of how the project will proceed from its current state to the state described in the vision statement
Progressive ElaborationThe iterative process of increasing the level of detail in accordance with the increase in information discovery and estimation accuracy
Project Life CycleThe phases, from initiation through closure, of a project associated with the work of the project, as opposed to being associated with its project management
Project Management Process GroupThe aggregation of the processes, along with their inputs, outputs, tools, and technique, that make up project management including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing
Project PhaseAn aggregation of logically related activities that results in the completion of a deliverable or deliverables
Project Vision StatementA document that defines the goal of the project, typically referencing the target customer, the need or opportunity, and the key benefit; often includes the main alternative to the project and why the project goal is more desirable
Relative Authority The authority that the project manager has relative to the functional manager's authority over the project team and project environment.
ReleaseA deployable software package that incorporates several iterations
Release ManagementActivities performed to ensure that the software is ready for release to the customer
Release PlanA plan that defines iterations, dates and features or outcomes to be delivered over multiple iterations.
Release PlanningDefining the prioritized and estimated stories from the product backlog that will be developed in the release and determining the date of the release
RoadmapA document that contains the high-level plan of the features that will be developed during the next few releases; the product owner/customer owns and maintain the document
Rolling Wave PlanningPreparing in more detail as the project becomes clearer
ScrumAn Agile methodology that delivers finished increments of a product at the end of each Sprint (a timeboxed iteration with a duration of one to four weeks)
Scrum of ScrumsA planning forum used in multiple-team projects to coordinate resources and dependencies
Scrum ValuesOpenness, focus, commitment, courage, visibility, and humor
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Unit TestActivities that validate the smallest testable parts of the system
Use CaseA document that defines how the user will interact with the product and how the product will respond to the user
User Acceptance Test (UAT)Activities that validate that the product behaves in accordance with the user stories
Validate ScopeThe process in which the customer or sponsor reviews and accepts project deliverables as being complete and correct in accordance with the requirements
ValidationThe process of determining that the results of the project are in compliance with requirements imposed by the customer and appropriate stakeholders and typically involving acceptance by them
Vanity MetricA metric that appears to show some kind of outcome, but is not really helpful in making decisions.
Variable Sampling DataSample data that is measured continuously, such as duration, temperature, length, and weight.
VarianceAny difference between a planned value or baseline and an actual result
Variance AnalysisThe assessment of the level and reasons for a variance from planned value or baseline
Variance At Completion (VAC)The projected amount the project will be over or under budget based on the difference between the budget at completion (BAC) and the estimate at completion (EAC)
VerificationThe process, typically internal, of determining that the results of the project are in compliance with appropriate specifications, requirements, regulatory requirements, and imposed conditions
Verified DeliverablesCompleted project deliverables that have been reviewed and confirmed for correctness through the Control Quality Process.
Work Performance DataMeasurements or statistics related to the execution of project work
Work Performance InformationThe evaluation and integration of project execution statistics and measurements gathered from control processes
Work Performance ReportsProject status and performance data utilized to produce communications and advance discussion
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